17.00 - 18:30, 8 February 2023, Press Club Brussels

Experts and policymakers across the world are preparing themselves for an era where many of the assumptions of globalisation are being overturned. Biden’s America has signalled a turn to increasingly protectionist policies to support a ‘green transition’, the pandemic has left countries concerned about how to ensure domestic production of vital materials and medicines, and increasing worries about Western-China conflict have forced countries to examine reshoring vital industries. 

Many cast this refashioning of the global economy as positive opportunity. The era of offshoring, after all, has posed a serious challenge to the industrial capacity of many Western countries. From France to the US, concerns about the decline of old industries and the rise of unemployment have occupied policymakers for some time. Perhaps reshoring – whether in traditional industries or in the guise of a Green New Deal – is a chance to return to an era of stable jobs for the working classes. Domestically, many populists welcome the end of the ‘globalists’ – the globe-trotting elite classes who are supposedly more comfortable at Davos than engaging with their own countrymen. Others are more concerned, worrying that we dismiss the gains of globalisation – from economic growth to travel, the spread of consumer goods to international culture – at our peril. Increasing protectionism also threatens to awaken and intensify geopolitical tensions. Many also question whether globalisation really has had its day – trade between countries continues to be a central part of the world economy. 

What will this new era of reshoring and protectionism bring? Should we welcome the return of focus on national economies, or is the turn away from globalism merely parochial? What is really going on with the international economy, and have reports of the death of globalisation been exaggerated?

Join this conversation between author Phil Mullan and MCC visiting professor Bill Durodie about how the EU should respond to a new era of international political economy. 


Speaker Phil Mullan, writer, lecturer and business manager; author, Beyond Confrontation: globalists, nationalists and their discontents

In conversation with Professor Bill Durodie, visiting professor, MCC Brussels